Tag: NY REV

Community Solar Comes to New York

by Pamela Berns

According to Dennis Phayre of EnterSolar, even if we utilized all currently available sources, we’d only have about 100 years of energy left on the planet. But New York State isn’t waiting one more second to embark on innovative partnerships that will not only extend that timeframe but also significantly reduce the State’s carbon footprint.

On June 15, at the host offices of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), GreenHomeNYC introduced three key players in these new collaborations for an instructive and exciting program about community solar. Community solar brings together customers, utilities, solar companies, and the state government to develop an interconnected approach to electrical power that will not only impact the way in which we create and move energy, but also the way in which consumers participate in the energy marketplace.

Max-Joel

Max Joel is a Program Manager for Community Solar NY, a part of the NY-Sun Initiative, a statewide solar initiative whose goal is to expand the deployment of solar capacity throughout the state to build a self-sustaining solar market. NY-Sun is one of several programs within NYSERDA aimed at realizing the state’s energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Alison Kling is a Senior Specialist in the Distributed Generation group at Con Edison, where she focuses on solar customer communications, process improvements, and long-term policy changes for interconnection. Dennis Phayre is Business Development Director at EnterSolar, and is focused on PV project origination, site assessment, incentive and financial analysis, and proposal delivery.

According to Joel, the NY-Sun program reports that growth in the solar business in New York State is unprecedented, having increased 575% from 2012 to 2015. The number of megawatts installed (525) is already enough to power nearly 85,000 homes. New York State’s Reform the Energy Vision (REV) program is “Governor Cuomo’s strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system,” and community solar is becoming an integral feature. It is made possible by taking advantage of a proposed new net metering structure to allow “any utility customer to be a subscribing member, and receive credit on their bill” for power sent back to the grid, said Joel. This means that solar can be developed in one section of the city, be it a large roof or an abandoned field, and sold back into the grid to be used by others on that same grid. Plus, said Kling, “New York City is a very renter oriented real estate market. This is a way to help make renters a part of it.” According to Joel, shared solar also enables building owners to increase income by leasing roof space and diversifying their income streams.

The Role of the Grid

meter

As Joel so aptly points out, “Just because you have solar doesn’t mean the grid goes away. You can’t do it without the grid.” Here’s how it works: Any utility customer within a single utility and NY-ISO zone may be a member of a project. Each individual member’s share of the energy production appears as a credit on their monthly utility bill. The solar meterproject or farm is installed at a remote site, and the utility manages the distribution of energy on the grid. In a nutshell, according to Kling, the utility’s role in solar interconnections is to maintain grid safety and reliability for all customers, install net meters, implement subsequent billing, and integrate Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) into load planning and forecasts. Each project also has a sponsor who owns or operates the project, organizes the membership, and interfaces with the utility. A sponsor may be the project developer, a private company, or other entity. Its role is to provide the utility with a list of members and their percent allocation of the credits prior to interconnection, and then to recruit, manage and track membership in the ongoing concern.

To help the audience understand how the grid fits into the process, Kling explained the basics of how Con Ed’s grid works. The Con Ed grid, which supplies electricity to Westchester County as well as the five boroughs, leverages 83 underground service grids to support a mesh network of systems that support “built in redundancy and reliability.” As a result, outages in one part of the system are addressed by checks and balances in another, which enables power to be delivered to customers seamlessly and uninterrupted. But the system also contains network protectors against the backward flow of electricity, which made sense before small scale, on-site power generation was introduced into the mix. The problem is that when solar flows into the system in a “backward” direction, the system “thinks” something is wrong and shuts down, says Kling. To enable community solar, she says, the utility “comes in and puts in new meters that go backward and forward. That’s when the magic happens.” She says Con Ed is responsible for ensuring that solar is “integrated in the best way,” and enabling solar power to “export into our system.”

Planting the First New York State Community Solar Farm

EnterSolar is currently constructing the first community solar project in New York State at a site in Halfmoon, NY, located in Upstate New York. The array will feed solar energy to the grid operated by New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), and will allow more than 100 residential customers, including low-income residents, to participate in community shared solar. Until now, the company has focused its projects on businesses, and boasts Bloomberg and Target as two of its biggest customers.

Bloomberg-Solar

According to Phayre, the remote net metered Bloomberg project brings solar credits to two Bloomberg buildings in Manhattan from an installation at a site near JFK airport; the credits are utilized in the Manhattan buildings and “transferred to facilities elsewhere.” Likewise, says Phayre, “community solar lets us take solar from one source and distribute it to hundreds of others,” and sees it as a “large-scale” business proposition that equals that of the Bloomberg project. He noted that a project the size of the Bloomberg system could power as many as 250 residences.

An existing EnterSolar remote net metering site in Halfmoon, NY supplies power to seventeen Stewart’s Shops in the region, and serves as a model for the community solar project. As he projected a slide of the Stewart’s solar farm in Halfmoon, Phayre pointed out the importance of choosing land responsibly. “This was a hayfield before we built the solar farm on it, so the impact on the land is not great. It’s an eco-friendly installation…it almost looks like an apple orchard.”

Systems Thinking in Energy

In the complex web of the renewables marketplace, utilities, solar companies, sponsors, and customers are joined by additional stakeholders and technologies. “Net metering [alone] doesn’t create a smart grid,” Phayre reminded the audience. “Regulations are critical for creating markets.” Tax incentives also feed the machine, and at the time of this writing, the two-year extension of New York City’s solar property tax credit was eagerly awaiting signature in Albany.

In response to an audience question about the roles of micro-grids, battery storage, and energy efficiency, all three speakers agreed that ultimately there will be a place for all of these. “If you can reduce the use of energy, that’s the biggest win of all,” said Phayre. And while energy efficiency is not obligated for membership in the community solar program, “it will become a big business opportunity.” Phayre sees community solar as the “democratization of solar,” and he also emphasized business pragmatism as a key driver in the whole process. After all, “if you’re going to spend money, you want that money to be well-spent.”

CCAs Will Power Community Solar, Storage & Microgrids

On April 28, 2016 elected & state officials, environmental leaders, business people and engaged citizens met to celebrate the launch of New York’s first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program and the announcement by keynote speaker Audrey Zibelman (left), Public Service Commissioner, that CCA will become a statewide program.

CCA is a state policy that enables municipalities to aggregate electricity demand and buy power in bulk on behalf of their community with the intent to procure alternative energy supplies while maintaining the existing electricity provider for transmission and distribution services.

Westchester-Power-logo

Sustainable Westchester (SW) has been granted approval by the NYS Public Service Commission to implement the CCA program called Westchester Power.  Approximately 110,000 residents and small businesses in Westchester municipalities will see lower electricity costs with 14 of the 20 participating towns selecting 100% renewable energy as their default energy supply.

Mike_350x450

SW has been working to bring CCA to New York for over four years. Mike Gordon (right), co-chair of Sustainable Westchester and CEO of Joule Assets, led the NY CCA effort, and was also responsible for drafting all statewide and local CCA legislation.

CCAs can be the catalyst propelling wider distributed energy resources (DER) use by tapping into the existing community-base to integrate Community Solar, Community Storage, and ultimately Community Microgrids. Communities taking control of their power options was a central theme of the event, with the quote of the day:

“We (the community) are the ultimate DERs”

For Westchester County, producing electricity locally also translates into jobs that would otherwise go to out of state companies. Sustainable Westchester also plans to participate in Community Demand Response programs, generating revenues for its members and providing relief to the grid with hardware like smart thermostats.

The Power Up for Clean Energy New York was produced by the Bedford 2020 and the panelists (pictured below from left to right) were:

  • Mike Gordon, Sustainable Westchester, Joule Assets
  • Kate Burson, Tesla Motors
  • Micah Kotch, NY Prize, NYSERDA
  • David Sandbank, NY-Sun, NYSERDA
  • Glenn Weinberg, Westchester Power, Joule Assets

Moderator:

  • Karl Rábago, Pace Energy and Climate Center

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Solar Power Leads NYCHA’s New Sustainability Agenda

On Earth Day 2016, The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) released the “First-ever Comprehensive Sustainability Agenda for Healthy & Energy-Efficient Public Housing“. NYCHA is the nation’s largest residential landlord, providing permanently affordable housing to more than 400,000 low-income New Yorkers, many of whom would be homeless without public housing.

One of the  key components of authority’s ten-year sustainability roadmap is solar power installations.  NYCHA is pledging to generate 25 megawatts of power from solar panels by 2025. There will be 2.5 million square feet of panels. The Wall Street Journal says that’s enough to cover Washington Square Park. It would be enough to power 6,600 apartments.

NYCHA Sustainability Agenda Goal 1:

Achieve short-term financial stability and diversify funding for the long term

Attract investment for capital improvements:
 NYCHA will attract $300 million in private capital to fund large-scale retrofits through Energy Performance Contracts, and tap energy-efficiency incentive programs to reduce the capital needs of scattered-site developments by $30 million.

Raise revenues through clean and distributed energy projects:
NYCHA will develop a pipeline of commercial-scale solar projects for third-party solar developers, part of a joint initiative from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Energy called Renew300. NYCHA will also develop a resilient microgrid and district energy system at Red Hook East and West Houses and support the City in identifying other opportunities for community-scale clean and distributed energy systems.

Focusing on resident health and comfort, and working hand-in-hand with sister agencies and community partners, NYCHA aims to achieve the following by 2025:

  • Eliminate the root causes of mold by fixing leaks in roofs, façades, and pipes and modernizing ventilation systems.
  • Eliminate overheating and unplanned heat and hot water outages.
  • Start on the path to meeting the City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases
    80 percent by 2050.
  • Address climate adaptation and resiliency in all capital planning.
  • Incorporate sustainability into day-to-day management of all properties.

NYCHA Sustainability Agenda Downloads:

NY’s First Community Choice Aggregation Program is Here

CCA Will Purchase Electricity on Behalf of 90,000 Homes and Small Businesses in Westchester County

Mar 09, 2016, 10:40 ET from Sustainable Westchester

Today, Sustainable Westchester and 17 of the 20 Westchester County municipalities that comprise Westchester Smart Power announced that they have selected the winner of a$150M contract bid that aims to transform the way we buy and use energy. ConEdison Solutions, the deregulated subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., has been selected to provide electricity on behalf of 90,000 residential and small business customers throughout Westchester County. Under the CCA, each of the 17 municipalities now has a choice in whether to opt for a 100% renewable energy supply, greened through Green-e certificates, or a slightly lower priced energy supply that includes a standard mix of traditional and renewable energy sources. The contract is a milestone in what Westchester Smart Power intends to be a deep contribution of distributed energy resources (DER) in the state.

A Program That Redefines How We Purchase, Consume and Generate Energy

In 2015, Sustainable Westchester Inc., a local non-profit representing 40 communities in Westchester, was selected by New York State to manage the first Community Choice Aggregation pilot program under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy. Together, the state’s first consortium of local governments joined to create Westchester Smart Power, giving municipalities the ability to contract directly with energy suppliers, acting as a single buyer, in order to realize bulk discounts on retail rates and to choose power from clean, renewable sources.

The Westchester Smart Power program unifies environmental and consumer interests as, for example, it achieves peak load reductions that may save as much as 100 Megawatts at peak hours, holding the potential to save residents and businesses an additional $10 million per year.

Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State, said, “As the first Community Choice Aggregation in New York State, Westchester Smart Power holds the potential to transform how consumers purchase, use and choose the energy for their homes and businesses. We congratulate the communities inWestchester County who have embraced Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system ensuring 50% of electricity consumed in New York comes from renewable power by 2030.”

20 of Sustainable Westchester’s 40 members have joined the Westchester Smart Power program. Municipalities that have joined the program include Bedford, Greenburgh, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Larchmont, Lewisboro,Town of Mamaroneck, Village of Mamaroneck, Mt. Kisco, New Castle, New Rochelle, North Salem, Town of Ossining,Village of Ossining, Pelham, Pleasantville, Rye Brook, Somers, Tarrytown and White Plains. Communities interested in participating should reach out to Sustainable Westchester for details about timing and participation in phase two of the program.

The Electric Service Agreement, drafted by Sustainable Westchester and attorneys and other representatives of the 20 participating municipalities, is a powerful document in its own right, emerging with 42 pages of protections for residential consumers and participating municipalities.

All residents and small businesses will be receiving letters from the municipalities outlining the details about Westchester Smart Power. Service for Westchester Smart Power customers will begin on May 1st.  For more information about Westchester Smart Power, go to www.westchestersmartpower.org.

“Westchester Smart Power will give consumers the opportunity to source clean power at more competitive rates. Unprecedented access to our consumption information and a commitment to buy together have been critical in enabling smarter, more informed and more powerful choices,” said Mike Gordon, Co-Chair of Sustainable Westchester.  “The success of Community Choice enables a transformative shift in the way we buy and use electricity, and soon energy, in New York. As the program goes forward, consumers will also benefit from savings attributed to peak demand reductions, local renewable energy generation and energy efficiencies.”

Bedford 2020, a Westchester-based environmental non-profit, is partnering with Sustainable Westchester to spread the word about the opportunity Westchester Smart Power represents to convert the county to renewable energy sources. According to Ellen Rouse Conrad, Co-President of Bedford 2020, “The choice to ‘opt up’ to 100% renewable energy is a game-changing opportunity for residents and small businesses in Westchester County. At long last, government has presented a viable solution for all consumers who care about clean energy, clean water and clean air.”

About Sustainable Westchester:

Sustainable Westchester is a membership organization with more than 85% of all Westchester municipalities participating, representing 800,000 county residents. The action group is designed to turn environmental challenges into opportunities to improve the quality of life, economy and future prospects of county citizens. For more information visit: www.sustainablewestchester.org.

About Bedford 2020:

Bedford 2020 is partnering with Sustainable Westchester to assist with education, outreach and implementation of the 100% “opt up” to renewable energy feature of Westchester Smart Power. Bedford 2020 is a non-profit organization leading a grass roots effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by the year 2020 in the town ofBedford, NY and beyond. Since their formation in 2010, they have piloted projects that have subsequently been replicated throughout the region. Their focus is on energy efficiency, solar energy and renewable energy. In addition, they have community programs in four other areas: Food & Agriculture, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, and Water & Land Use. For more information visit: http://bedford2020.org/.

NY Launches $5 Billion Clean Energy Fund to Grow Clean Energy Economy

Clean Energy Fund will advance solar, wind, energy efficiency and other clean tech industries to spur economic development and reduce harmful emissions

Today’s unprecedented action will result in lower energy costs for consumers and business beginning this year

Work also begins to establish the Clean Energy Standard to meet the Governor’s aggressive 50 percent renewables by 2030 mandate

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York State Public Service Commission’s approval of a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to accelerate the growth of New York’s clean energy economy, address climate change, strengthen resiliency in the face of extreme weather and lower energy bills for New Yorkers starting this year. Additionally, the fund will attract and leverage third-party capital to support the Governor’s aggressive Clean Energy Standard, one of the nation’s most ambitious goals to meet 50 percent of our electricity needs with renewable resources by 2030.

“New York is a national leader in combating climate change and growing the clean energy economy – and today we are taking the next big step forward,” Governor Cuomo said.“This unparalleled $5 billion investment will leverage more than $29 billion in private sector funding and open the door to new clean energy opportunities for years to come. We are raising the bar when it comes to increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing harmful carbon emissions, and I am proud that the Empire State is continuing to set the example for the future.”

The $5 billion Clean Energy Fund, to be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, builds on the progress the state is already making in developing a robust clean tech sector. The fund is projected to result in more than $39 billion in customer bill savings over the next 10 years through innovative projects and private-public partnerships focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making energy more affordable through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and mobilizing private-sector capital. In addition to the $39 billion in overall customer savings, as a result of this Public Service Commission action, consumers and businesses are expected to see lower costs of $1.5 billion over the next 10 years, including an immediate reduction of $91 million from 2016 electric and gas costs compared to 2015.

Consumers and businesses can expect to see lower utility costs this year.

The fund will operate four major portfolios:

  • Market Development ($2.7 billion): NYSERDA will undertake a variety of activities to stimulate consumer demand for clean energy alternatives, energy efficiency while helping to build clean energy supply chains to meet that growing customer demand. At least $234.5 million must be invested in initiatives that benefit low-to-moderate income New Yorkers during the first three years of the fund;
  • NY-Sun ($961 million): The fund finalizes the funding and confirms the long-term commitment for NY-Sun and for the growing solar electric market and industry in New York State, by supporting rapid and continued cost reduction. This will continue to make solar energy more affordable and accessible for residential and commercial solar customers, and will drive the growth of the solar industry in New York, which currently employs more than 7,000 people across 538 solar companies in the state;
  • NY Green Bank ($782 million): To leverage private sector investment, expand the availability of capital and increase confidence in lending for clean energy projects, the fund will complete the capitalization of the innovative NY Green Bank. The fund will increase the NY Green Bank’s total investment to $1 billion and will leverage an estimated $8 billion in private investment;
  • Innovation and Research ($717 million): As New York State moves to a cleaner, more efficient, and more widely distributed energy system, the Clean Energy Fund will help spur innovations through research and technology development that will drive clean-tech business growth and job creation while providing more energy choices to residential and business customers.

New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman said, “The Clean Energy Fund will achieve greater customer savings and stimulate more demand for — and private investment in — renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, furthering the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy. By acting today and not tomorrow, we ensure our grid will be modernized and strengthened as we also lower New Yorker’s electricity rates by implementing the most cost-effective solutions to meet our challenges.”

At last week’s State of the State address, Governor Cuomo officially proposed the creation of a Clean Energy Standard and directed the Public Service Commission to establish enforceable mandates for renewable power by June. The Commission today approved a public process to adopt a Clean Energy Standard that will also include a separate support mechanism for upstate nuclear power plants. Since nuclear facilities do not produce greenhouse gas emissions, they will help the State transition to a future under the Clean Energy Standard without losing ground on emission reductions statewide.

The Commission also took other groundbreaking steps today to advance Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision Strategy, or REV, by directing major electric and gas utilities to develop new, cutting-edge energy efficiency programs, on both a regional and statewide basis. It also established a benefit-cost analysis framework for evaluating new energy proposals, such as smaller, cleaner power plants, to determine whether they meet the energy- and cost-saving goals of REV.

The Clean Energy Fund supports the environmental goals of both REV and the Clean Energy Standard by reducing an estimated 133 million tons of carbon emissions (the equivalent of removing 1.8 million cars from the road). Energy efficiency and other priority initiatives of the fund are also expected to save 10.6 million MWh of electricity and 13.4 million MMBtu of fuel consumption overall.

New York State Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman said, “Under the Clean Energy Fund, every dollar of clean energy spending will achieve greater savings and enhance private investment, spurring innovation and new technologies that will bring more choices and value to New York consumers. We will build on the success of previous energy-development programs in a way that meets evolving customer and market needs and transition away from approaches that rely almost exclusively on ratepayer subsidies, which is unsustainable if we are to meet our ambitious goals in the long-run.”

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “The Clean Energy Fund allows the State to make faster and greater progress towards Governor Cuomo’s State Energy Plan and Clean Energy Standard goals, while reducing ratepayer collections. It also creates the demand for clean energy and the certainty we need to accelerate the growth of a dynamic clean tech economy that stimulates private investment and job creation.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York State is a national model in investing in renewable energy and addressing climate change. The Clean Energy Fund will allow New York to build a clean tech industry while furthering its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide utility savings for New Yorkers.”

In today’s Clean Energy Fund order, the Commission also allocated $150 million for the development of new Large Scale Renewables power projects in 2016. As the Commission develops a Clean Energy Standard, it will create new incentives for large scale renewables and a new mechanism to prevent the premature retirement of safe, upstate nuclear power plants during this transition.

In addition, the Commission ruled that the Clean Energy Standard should include non-emitting generation resources, like the nuclear power facilities in upstate New York. Without these plants, the state would lose some of the emission reductions already achieved by the state and possibly lead to an increase of more than 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.

To complement further programs supported by the Clean Energy Fund, the Commission is directing that each investor-owned utility seek to improve their own energy-efficiency programs to better engage customers and meet the overall goals of the Clean Energy Standard and the State Energy Plan. Energy-efficiency programs offered by major utilities are poised to offer greater value and new, cost-saving services to consumers under streamlined rules approved today. Along with NYSERDA’s 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund, utilities will now develop energy-efficiency programs that will achieve greater market-wide efficiency savings, target specific needs in the state and depend less on direct ratepayer support.

NYSERDA will continue to offer energy-efficiency programs designed for low-income customers. However, the utilities and NYSERDA are directed to actively evaluate and develop innovative programs that reach deeper into low-income communities.

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York’s energy system which protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY-Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and includes a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY or follow us at @Rev4NY.

VIA: https://www.governor.ny.gov

Bronx School Gets First K-Solar Project

Governor Cuomo Announces First Solar Schools Project at the New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx

JANUARY 19, 2016 | Albany, NY
Governor Cuomo’s K-Solar Program Increases Use of Renewable Energy in Schools

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New York Institute for Special Education in the Bronx will be the site of the state’s first solar schools project and will have solar panel arrays installed thanks to a power purchase agreement with SolarCity. This public-private partnership is the first such agreement under the Governor’s K-Solar program, which is designed to increase the use of renewable energy at public school districts and nonprofit schools across the state. As part of the agreement, the project will receive free technical assistance from the New York Power Authority and is eligible for approximately $65,000 in incentives from the Governor’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative.

“This project is demonstrating how our collaborative, innovative approach to modernizing New York’s energy infrastructure is making a difference for New Yorkers,” said Governor Cuomo. “Through the K-Solar program, the state is enabling schools to create greener communities and reduce energy bills by taking advantage of cost-effective solar power. As schools begin to realize the utility savings to be had through this program, they can begin to put those dollars back in the classroom where they belong.”

To view a short video about the project at the New York Institute for Special Education, click here.

K-Solar provides registered public and private schools with free ongoing advisory services, solar site assessments and energy analysis, technical and administrative support and an expedited permitting process. Since it launched last year, school districts in 59 of the State’s 62 counties have registered with K-Solar. The initiative is a public-private partnership between the New York Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in collaboration with competitively-selected private sector solar developers.

Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York is showing the nation and the world what is possible by taking historic actions to reduce emissions. Providing cost-effective access to solar energy at hundreds of schools is a major step forward, not only for educators, students and their parents, but also for communities across our great state. This will propel New York State to the forefront of the new green economy and bring the potential for thousands of new jobs.”

K-Solar works in tandem with Community Solar NY, a program launched last year to encourage projects known as “Solarize” campaigns—community-organized efforts to gain a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar and share significant cost savings. Both programs are a part of Governor Cuomo’s $1 billion NY-Sun initiative to significantly expand the deployment of solar power statewide.

Schools interested in registering with K-Solar will pay no upfront costs for the installation of solar electric systems in return for signing an 18-year contract with a pre-qualified solar developer—either SunEdison or SolarCity, depending on the region–to buy the power that the solar panels generate. K-Solar guarantees that districts will pay below prevailing market rates over the term of the contract, providing greater certainty about their energy costs over an extended period. The program is expected to help schools save money, lower their carbon footprints, provide educational opportunities for their students and further the installation of solar energy in communities.

New York State Chairman of Energy and Finance Richard Kauffman said, “Scaling and building solar power in our schools creates a gateway for bringing solar into our communities more broadly. Once residents and business owners see the benefits of solar, they become much more likely to make the move themselves. The K-Solar program gives us an opportunity to start meeting Governor Cuomo’s ambitious clean energy targets right away while also accelerating the process through rapid adoption elsewhere.”

K-Solar is a core component of New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy and supports the Governor’s requirement that New York State meet 50 percent of our electricity needs with renewable resources by 2030. The program also supports the goals of Governor Cuomo’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math learning initiatives by enhancing student awareness of energy efficient and renewable technologies, promoting student engagement in clean technology and increasing interest in career opportunities in the energy field. Registered schools receive solar technology curricula, clean-energy training for teachers and other educational materials.

New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, “In less than a year, hundreds of districts have enthusiastically embraced the prospect of solar power as a viable energy choice for their schools. By using K-Solar, schools have a unique opportunity to leverage resources from NYPA to demonstrate the benefits of solar to their communities without making a significant capital investment for solar generating equipment. The result will help transform how New Yorkers think about and use electric power.”

NYSERDA President and CEO John B. Rhodes said, “K-Solar offers a great lesson in how school districts can partner with the State to reduce reliance on the electric grid while teaching students about the benefits of renewable resources. The program directly supports the goals of REV by expanding electricity production at customer sites where it can take pressure off the grid and increase clean energy resources in the State.”

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said, “Having solar panels and other technologies associated with K-Solar in our schools provides an interactive learning experience with renewable energy. K-Solar helps to spark innovative problem-solving and provides teachers with the opportunity to teach concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to pique student interest in these critical subjects.”

New York Institute for Special Education Executive Director Bernadette Kappen said, “K-Solar gives the Institute an opportunity to lower its carbon footprint and be a part of New York State’s plan to increase clean energy sources while saving on costs. The solar curriculum will promote STEM-based learning for students with visual impairments and students with emotional disabilities. We are celebrating 185 years of providing educational programs and being selected to participate in this project is a highlight of this important year.”

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj said, “I am proud of The New York Institute of Education for taking advantage of Governor’s Cuomo’s solar panel program. This sets a positive example of the progressive initiatives we need to take to continue to preserve our environment and reduce our carbon footprint. I am excited that this will forever be a learning tool for our youth and generations to come.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “I want to thank the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and especially New York Institute of Special Education, who are the first school to sign on Governor Cuomo’s K-Solar program. Not only is this program helping The Bronx and New York City become greener, but the education component of the K-Solar program also helps our future leaders and scientists jump to the forefront of this burgeoning technology.”

About Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s strategy to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV places clean, locally produced power at the core of New York’s energy system which protects the environment and supports the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent while generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a includes a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities. To learn more about REV, please visitwww.ny.gov/REV4NY or follow us at @Rev4NY.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418

Via:  New York State Governor’s Website

Governor Cuomo Announces New Shared Renewables initiative

July 16, 2015

Shared Renewables Program Provides New Opportunities for New York Residents and Businesses to Access Clean and Affordable Energy

Governor Cuomo announced the approval of a bold new community initiative enabling millions of New Yorkers to access clean and affordable energy for the first time. Proposed in Governor Cuomo’s 2015 State of Opportunity Agenda, Shared Renewables provides opportunities for renters, homeowners, low-income residents, schools and businesses to join together to set up shared renewable energy projects resulting in healthier and stronger communities.

“The Shared Renewables initiative will help people and communities across the state save money on local clean energy projects,” Governor Cuomo said. “This program is about protecting the environment and ensuring that all New Yorkers, regardless of their zip code or income, have the opportunity to access clean and affordable power. Together, we will build a cleaner and greener New York.”

Renewable resources are already providing massive economic and environmental benefits across the state, with installed solar capacity having grown 300% between 2011 and 2014. Yet, many New Yorkers are still unable to participate because they rent their home, live in an apartment building, or own properties unsuitable for installing solar panels or other clean energy technologies.

Under the Shared Renewables initiative (also referred to as community distributed generation), customers can join together to share in the benefits of local solar, wind, and other renewable energy projects. Each individual member’s production would appear as a credit on their monthly utility bill. The first phase of Shared Renewables will focus on promoting low-income customer participation and installations in areas of the power grid that can benefit most from local power production.

“Democratizing the production of power allows individuals and communities to take control of their energy future and realize the economic, social, and environmental benefits of solar and other renewable resources,” said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York. “As a direct result of Governor Cuomo’s leadership and the Reforming the Energy Vision initiative, New York State is once again at the forefront of progressive energy policy by empowering millions of our residents, schools, and businesses to choose renewable power for the first time.”

Governor Cuomo’s REV initiative takes a proactive approach to meet the challenges facing today’s power sector by building a regulatory framework to modernize the utility industry to create greater value for customers and support new investment in clean energy.

Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s REV initiative, Shared Renewables expands consumer access to reliable, low-cost electricity generated from renewable energy facilities. Shared Renewables places customers who do not own homes on an equal footing with traditional single-home customers and creates opportunities for low- and moderate-income families who don’t have access to electricity generated from renewable resources.”

During the first phase of Shared Renewables from October 19, 2015 through April 30, 2016, projects will be limited to those that advance one of two specific REV goals: siting distributed generation in areas where it can provide the greatest locational benefits to the larger power grid, or supporting economically distressed communities by ensuring at least 20 percent of the participants are low- and moderate-income customers.

Beginning May 1, 2016, a second phase will make shared renewable projects available throughout entire utility service territories.

In addition, other REV principles can be applied, such as aligning utility incentives to fully support Shared Renewables projects by allowing shared savings or revenues from new business models that facilitate projects at lower costs. In addition to these changes, the Public Service Commission will immediately commence a collaborative to determine how to continue the encouragement of low-income customer participation in community distributed generation during the second phase.

Customers interested in the Shared Renewables initiative can participate in a number of ways. For instance, the residents of a condominium may want to join together for a shared solar project. They would need to find a “sponsor” who will be responsible for organizing the project on behalf of the residents. A sponsor could be a developer or even the residents of the building banding together to form a legal entity such as a limited liability corporation, or LLC. To learn more about how you can participate in shared renewables as a customer, community, or project sponsor, please visit http://www.ny-sun.ny.gov/Community-Solar and sign up to receive assistance and resources to help you take advantage of local clean energy projects.

About Reforming the Energy Vision

Under Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), New York State is spurring clean energy innovation and attracting new investment to build a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. REV encompasses groundbreaking regulatory reform to integrate clean energy into the core of our power grid, redesigned programs and strategies to unlock private capital, and active leadership in deploying innovative energy solutions across the State’s own public facilities and operations. REV will enable a dynamic, clean energy economy operating at a scale that will stimulate opportunities for communities across the state to create jobs and drive local economic growth, while protecting our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

Successful initiatives already launched as part of REV include NY Sun, NY Green Bank, NY Prize, K-Solar, and a commitment to improve energy affordability for low-income communities.

To learn more about REV, please visit www.ny.gov/REV4NY.

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

New York Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474-8418

Community Choice Empowers NY’s Electricity Customers & Beyond

Courtesy of the Environment Defense Fund’s Energy Exchange Blog

By: Paul Fenn, Founder and President of Local Power Inc.

New York has embarked on a major energy reform that will change the way electricity is produced, distributed, and priced in the state. The effort, called ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’ (REV) has the potential to scale up the use of local renewable energy resources and widely deploy energy efficiency technologies, reduce energy bills, and give customers greater control over their energy use.

New York’s REV effort would change the longstanding utility business model that relies on a one-way, centralized power grid delivering electricity to customers, most of it generated by aging, polluting power plants. Under this model, the environmentally-conscious customer has little say over how her energy is produced.

Community choice a key part of REV effort

A key component of New York’s REV effort is a process called Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). CCA authorizes whole communities, by a vote of the local city council, to stop using power from the incumbent utility and instead purchase power in bulk from competitive electricity suppliers – as well as develop local renewable resources such as community or rooftop solar energy.

By allowing communities to opt-out of using utility power without penalty, customers have greater control over where their power comes from, often resulting in lower electricity rates, cleaner energy from local, distributed resources, and a more efficient system.

As part of the state’s energy reform, Governor Andrew Cuomo last year called for the development of CCA programs that would allow municipal governments to procure electricity for the community. The governor and state regulators embraced CCA programs for their ability to “support the deployment of renewable generation, energy efficiency programs, home energy management, and other distributed energy resources.” Leading the process is New York Public Service Commission Chair and former smart grid expert, Audrey Zibelman.

CCA programs exist throughout country

While New York is the first state in the country to call for CCA programs as a framework for distributed energy resource development, CCA programs already serve millions of customers throughout the country. With about five percent of Americans in 1,300 cities across America already enrolled in a CCA program, this model is poised to transform American electricity.

The first CCA program was launched in Massachusetts in 1997, and early models in Ohio, Illinois, and New Jersey focused on purchasing power in bulk from non-utility energy providers. That model has evolved, and current CCA programs – particularly in California and New York – are now focused on developing locally-generated renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. This has had the knock-on effect of creating local green jobs and boosting the local economy.

San Francisco CCA to localize city power supply

California’s electricity supply shortage in the early 2000s led decision-makers in the state to view CCA programs as a clean energy game changer. One such CCA program in San Francisco, called CleanPowerSF, is in the process of localizing the entire city’s energy supply. Other Bay Area CCAs in Sonoma County and Marin County have launched local power-oriented services, with Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties all following suit.

Analysis from the CleanPowerSF program shows that after issuing $1 billion in solar bonds to finance the CCA program, San Francisco can permanently reduce the community’s total electricity use by up to 50 percent in a five-year period.

It’s not only about going green, but eliminating grid dependency and waste. The resulting revenue surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars could be invested in developing more local renewable energy. Through CleanPowerSF, customers will pay the same amount or less for electricity from day one.

In both New York and California, the expansion of CCA programs will depend on political commitment. Earlier this year, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined a chorus of local progressives calling for CleanPowerSF to use local power development to create thousands of local green jobs. But before CleanPowerSF launches next January, the Board of Supervisors must first authorize the issuance of revenue bonds to finance it: watch out for this vote.

CCA turns on its head the one-size-fits-all, top-down utility model, for a decentralized, “bottom-up,” locally-controlled system focused on reducing waste and reinvesting savings back into the community.

Like all platforms for implementing change, the success of CCA programs will depend upon cities like San Francisco and states like New York whose leaders are committed to tackling climate change and making communities more resilient in the face of extreme weather events. And these leaders know that communities are an integral part of the effort.

Paul Fenn is the Founder and President of Local Power Inc. which launched the nation’s CCA movement in the mid-1990s.

Source: Community Choice Programs Empower Electricity Customers in New York and Beyond

Long Island to Build Seven Solar Power Plants Totaling 14 Megawatts

SunEdison Brings 14 MW of Solar Power to Long Island as Part of New York State Initiative

May 28 – PR Newswire

SunEdison, Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) the world’s largest renewable energy development company, today announced that it has signed agreements with five municipal entities on Long Island to build seven solar power plants totaling 14 megawatts (MW) DC.

The electricity from these power plants will be sold to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), an electricity service provider for 1.1 million customers in Long Island , New York , through separate 20 year power purchase agreements. The contracts with the Town of Southold , Town of Easthampton, Nassau County , Suffolk County and the Suffolk County Water Authority were awarded as part of the LIPA 100 MW Clean Solar Initiative Feed-in Tariff program.

“LIPA’s Clean Solar Initiative program allows communities to benefit from locally generated solar energy, enabling them to better control energy costs,” said Steve Raeder , managing director of Eastern USA distributed generation for SunEdison . “This program has been extremely successful and we look forward to developing more projects in Long Island .”

Raeder went on to say: “And with the new NYSERDA block incentive program and the governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision plan, we can replicate our success in Long Island and bring clean, affordable solar energy to customers across the entire state of New York .”

The solar power plants are expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 1,100 homes, and should eliminate the emission of more than 27 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2,600 cars off the road. As an added benefit, the construction of these solar power plants will create an estimated 100 jobs in the Long Island area.

These solar power plants are on the Call Right Projects List for SunEdison’s Yieldco affiliate, TerraForm Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: TERP), a global owner and operator of clean energy power plants. Accordingly, TerraForm Power expects to purchase these projects upon completion. Operation and maintenance of the solar power plant will be performed by SunEdison Services, which provides global 24/7 asset management, monitoring and reporting services.

About SunEdison

SunEdison is the world’s largest renewable energy development company and is transforming the way energy is generated, distributed and owned around the globe. The company manufactures solar technology and develops, finances, installs, owns and operates wind and solar power plants, delivering predictably priced electricity to its residential, commercial, government and utility customers. SunEdison is one of the world’s largest renewable energy asset managers and provides asset management, operations and maintenance, monitoring and reporting services for its renewable energy customers around the world. Corporate headquarters are in the United States , with additional offices around the world. SunEdison’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SUNE.” To learn more visit www.sunedison.com .

Forward Looking Statements

Certain matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements, including: the solar power plants are expected to produce enough electricity to power more than 1,100 homes, and should eliminate the emission of more than 27 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2,600 cars off the road; and the construction of these solar power plants will create an estimated 100 jobs in the Long Island area.  Such statements involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Potential risks and uncertainties include changes in applicable regulatory requirements and incentives for production of solar power; and general business and economic conditions, including seasonality of the industry, and other risks described in SunEdison’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission . These forward-looking statements represent SunEdison’s judgment as of the date of this press release. SunEdison disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

The New York Solar PV Guide

Solar power is on the rise across New York, where it has grown an average of 44.28% annually in the last three years. According to the latest solar jobs census from the Solar Foundation, the solar industry employed more than 5,000 people in New York in 2013. Significantly, New York ranks fifth in the nation for statewide solar job creation.

New York will continue its prodigious growth with the NY-Sun initiative which has committed $1 billion in funding for solar projects. The newly launched Solarize campaigns bring together widespread community outreach and education, competitive installer selection, and a limited-time offer to bring more customers to solar and provide significant cost savings. Community Solar NY will support these campaigns by providing marketing materials, technical assistance and funding and by sharing best practices to help community projects succeed.

With the highest electric rates in the nation, lower costs and new funding – NOW is the best time ever for New Yorkers to invest in solar!